FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Shalrie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution presses goalie Kevin Hartman #1 of the FC Dallas react at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The New England Revolution is looking to win three in a row for the first time since 2009 when they take on FC Dallas in Frisco tonight. The Revs handily dispatched the Galaxy in Los Angeles last weekend by a 3-1 score line, bolstered by goals from Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney and Saer Sene. Dallas, meanwhile, is 1-2-1 and just got resoundingly smashed 4-1 by DC.
Injuries: Kevin Alston is doubtful with a hamstring issue, and it looks as though Florian Lechner will be making his first MLS start. John Lozano is still doubtful as well. Benny Feilhaber remains out with his peroneal strain, and Zak Boggs has joined Sainey Nyassi on the disabled list; he will not be eligible to return until May 19th.
Interesting Storyline: Lee Nguyen is a native of Richardson, Texas, and this match will mark his first homecoming since signing with MLS. Interestingly, Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was keen on bringing Nguyen to Frisco, but couldn't work out a deal with Vancouver before the Revs picked up the former international off waivers.
2011 Head-to-Head: New England and Dallas split the series 1-1-0 in 2011. The hoops won 1-0 at home in June before the Revs pulled off an unlikely 2-0 victory at Gillette Stadium in September.
Keys to the Game: The Revs have to attack mercilessly in this match despite their status as the road team. Dallas's defense was badly exposed by DC this past weekend, and with midfield anchor Daniel Hernandez suspended, Dallas is going to have considerable difficulty dealing with a high-pressure offense. Further, sustained pressure will keep the ball away from playmakers/danger men Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea, and Blas Perez, limiting Dallas's options to strike back.
On the defensive, New England will have to keep a close watch on Perez and Shea. Shea frequently switches wings, and his pace and technical skill are a danger whenever the ball is at his feet. Perez, meanwhile, has either scored or assisted on every goal Dallas has scored in the 2012 regular season. He is both a link man and a goal poacher, and cannot be allowed chances near the box. Villar is the real danger, though, and if allowed to pull strings in midfield he will be sure to create goals. It will be down to either Shalrie Joseph or Clyde Simms to mark him out of the game.
There seems to be little reason to shake up a winning formula, so expect the same lineup that flattened LA in Carson to take the pitch in Frisco. Alston will probably be replaced by Lechner. Jose Moreno is expected to make his MLS debut tonight, but chances are he won't start.
Broadcast Information: TV: 8:30 PM EST, CSN Alternate Channels; RADIO: 8:30 PM EST, 98.5 The Sports Hub